Ugandan Airlines management have begun renegotiating routes the old national airline operated before it was grounded more than 15 years ago.
According to the East African, sources close to the revival plan have indicated that the technical teams are also considering a range of exclusive rights along the booking, ticketing and passenger handling chain for the national carrier.
After 15 years on the ground and with the cargo handling component privatised, the national carrier will be starting from near zero.
“The government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of renegotiating with air regulatory authorities in different countries to reclaim the routes which were operated by Uganda Airlines before it was liquidated” said Patricia Okiria, a member of the task force.
The airline is scheduled to take to the skies by November.
Information from the website of Bombardier, the makers of the CRJ900 and Q400, shows that one CRJ costs up to $46.5 million while a Q400 costs $32.2 million as at January 2018.
This means that the government has to raise over $250 million of the $318 million needed for equipment. The overall cost of getting the airline back in the skies has been estimated at $388 million, the East African reports.
The news source quoted Bageya Waiswa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, as saying that the Ministry of Finance is yet to process a project code for the airline so as to seek funds.
“The government is providing some money in the budget, but it’s not much,” Mr Bageya said.
“We are yet to be allocated a budget code by the Ministry of Finance to be sure how much government will provide,” he added.
But officials are upbeat as independent financiers are ready to fund the project. A Canadian bank and regional development bank are some of the potential lenders.
According to sources, the airline will be looking to claim a huge stake of the region’s cargo business.